Psychological Society of South Africa

Raising hair, crowning glory: A poem to thank Pretoria Girls High

By Thirusha Naidu Raising Hair, Crowning Glory Thank you Pretoria Girls High You have introduced us To future heroes. Yesterday, asleep In the soft arms of their mothers Now roused. Coldly, by bleached fingers, from childhood sleep. Dragged by the hair, Protesting, into womanhood . Thank you Pretoria Girls High By your Amazing Grace Africa’s…

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We’re all born naked, everything else is (a) drag

By Pierre Brouard When Caitlyn Jenner recently visited the Academy for Young Writers, an LGBTI-friendly school in a working-class New York neighbourhood, she was expecting some flak. In particular, from two youngsters, living non-binary lives, who had been vocal in their criticisms of her. Caitlyn was privileged, they said, had made disparaging remarks about “men…

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Lessons on language while in Beijing

By Curwyn Mapaling Naturally, when you attend a symposium or a conference in another country, you expect to learn, to share, to travel, and to explore. There’s so much to learn when entering a foreign country for the first time – everything is new, everything is interesting. I was recently selected to attend the Yenching…

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Grand racism vs petty racism

By Sduduzo Mncwabe In South Africa racism and psychology had a difficult marriage consummated by Professor Hendrik Verwoerd in 1948 and dissolved by Professor Sathasivan “Saths” Cooper and company when the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) was founded in 1994. As a profession we have gone from having “one of our own” construct the…

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Virginity bursaries: Weighing the pros and cons

By Nandisa Tushini The recent outrage over the bursary scheme that seeks to fund those who can prove their virginity – the “maiden bursary” – is controversial but not without its merits. Despite some support from young women, many organisations such as People Opposing Women Abuse, Lawyers for Human Rights, feminist groups and even the…

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How to help students succeed at university

By Rakhee Naik and Safiyyah Pahad After 21 years of democracy, people still question whether apartheid is a prominent reason impacting on the current state of education. Whether acknowledged or not, we must consider its impact on predominantly black students in accessing resources and educational opportunities. This is exacerbated by their limited social and cultural…

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Sex is complex: Gender, HIV and Charlie Sheen’s disclosure

By Pierre Brouard So Charlie Sheen is in trouble again — this time because he has been forced to disclose his HIV status to be one step ahead of the tabloids, and to cut off the money supply to extortionists who had him over a barrel. The competing narratives around his disclosure have been fascinating:…

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Are violent protests cleansing, like Fanon said?

By Liezille Jacobs and Julian Jacobs Frantz Fanon, often referred to as the psychiatrist who prescribed violence, would turn in his grave at the condemnation of the student protests because he believed overcoming oppression could be realised through a violent uprising of the masses. Fanon said the slave thinks of overthrowing his master while being…

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#BladeMustAid: An open letter to the minister of higher education

By Liezille Jacobs Dear Dr Bonginkosi Emmanuel “Blade” Nzimande, What an interesting time to live in South Africa! I am writing this letter slowly because it is very hard for me to fathom that we might have another 1976 on our hands. Do you need a reminder, lest you forgot? On June 16 1976 student…

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Uncomfortable about current protests? Embrace your discomfort and be part of social change

By Ahmed Riaz Mohamed We live in a country and in a democracy forged through struggle, sacrifice and protest. The recent surge in student-led protest in the country is powerfully reminiscent of apartheid-era resistance and anti-apartheid marches, rallies and sit-ins. These students are channelling the spirit of former student leaders such as Steven Biko who…

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